Students Staff

31 July 2019

Meet our new Head of Student Development

Filed under: Latest news, People pages, Student experience — Communications, CER @ 3:38 pm

Daniel Fox is our new Head of Student Development. We met up with him to find out more about his role and what plans he has for the future of Student Development at Essex.

Daniel Fox, Head of Student Development.

Who is Daniel Fox? / What did you do before coming to Essex?

This is my first role within Higher Education, and I am delighted to have become a part of the University of Essex family at a very exciting time. I have spent the last 20 years working in Secondary Schools, with the last 12 years in school leadership. A lot of my work in this time has focussed on student development, wellbeing and inclusion. I decided that after a long time in this sector I wanted a new challenge. The role of Head of Student Development not only provides the challenge I seek, but allows me to review and evaluate the impact of what is currently offered within the University and how we can further improve and develop that offer. I strongly believe that students deserve transformational education experiences and support to help them be successful not just at university but throughout their lives.

What will you be doing?

I will be leading the development of the new Student Development service, which leads and supports student development activities across the student lifecycle, facilitating effective transition into our learning community, enabling students to have the study skills and wider personal development opportunities they need to succeed. These activities will not only help students to achieve their academic potential, but will also build confidence, resilience and the necessary experience to progress successfully into the next stage of their life and career, which may include further study and the world of work.

As well as providing strategic direction and leading the continued development of the Student Development service in pursuit of the best possible experience for our students, I will support the delivery of our Education Strategy, specifically the institutional focus on student progression, success and graduate employability, and will work closely with relevant stakeholders to promote initiatives and projects to enhance student success and progression.

What are your priorities for the coming months?

As well as establishing the new service and meeting with key stakeholders, I will be focusing on:

  • Delivery of career development learning and embedded skills sessions – meeting commitments agreed with departments. Review and evaluation of embedded learning activity and determining needs for 2020 onwards.
  • Evaluation of impact – we must ensure that we make the most effective use of our engagement with students. Activities must be designed and implemented with a view to measurable impact and with the flexibility to adapt with the changing needs of our students and staff. We want to provide a service which reflects the needs of different academic disciplines and recognizes the fluidity of a student’s development journey. In order to do this, we must have a good understanding of trends and emerging risks, and be responsive and agile to addressing them.
  • Looking at making sure what we offer is clear and accessible and offers demonstrable benefit, and marketing/communicating this to students and staff.

Why has the University introduced this new role?

This new role is part of the University’s commitment to deliver excellence in education and the delivery to provide a transformational education.

We need to adapt to the changing and future needs of our students, in terms of how they learn and access support, as well as how we can effectively prepare them for their future careers and lives. As the environment in which we work changes to support new and changing priorities, the structural needs and services also need to develop so that they continue to be fit for purpose. Through the creation of the Student Development service, we aim to achieve a more holistic approach to student development and, over time, a consolidation of initiatives with a greater emphasis on outputs and impact.

What changes can we expect to see as a result of the creation of the new Student Development team?

Access to Student Development services will be integrated into our broader student services delivered by the Student Services Hub (across all three campuses) in a way that maximises and protects service profile and quality and engagement among students.

It has been the intention to have a one-stop-shop approach, giving all students easy and clear access to services. This is also an opportunity to ensure parity of experience across our campuses is achieved, as well as extending opening times to students who want to access these services and methods of access e.g. Livechat function will also be available.

What do students need to know about the changes? Where should they go if they want to discuss support?

Please direct students to the Student Services Hub for initial enquiries.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The University of Essex will moderate comments and there will be a delay before any posts appear.